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I used to live on North Cleveland on the north side of Lee Highway.

Without knowing the circumstances I hate to comment, but I will say this:

The light at that intersection does not detect bicycles, which means if no cars come up behind you, you have to 1) keep waiting, 2) get off your bike and push the button, or 3) run the light.

Wouldn't surprise me if she chose option 3) and paid the price for the faulty design.

Her Facebook page is still up. Very eerie...

Terrible news.

What odd wording: "a car hit a bicycle she was on".
I also used to live at that intersection (cheapest rent in Arlington), and second what Patch said. I ran that light often on my bike, rather than dismounting and pressing the button. I think most people would.

I have to do that sometimes at Patrick Henry Dr and Leesburg Pike in Fairfax County (northbound on Patrick Henry, there are often no cars late at night). And it's indeed a gamble.

Another dangerous spot a few blocks from there is turning left from northbound Lee Highway onto N Veitch St. There's no dedicated left turn signal, and visibility is limited by the hilltop.

Are there sensors that do detect bicycles? Are they in use anywhere in the region?

By "a few blocks from there" I mean a few blocks from the crash. Not my own example closer to home.

very dangerous intersection as that part of lee highways also allows cars to build up some speed.

Use the button to call for a green light.

Scott F,
Yes, there are sensors that detect bikes. In fact, all the sensors I come across in my rides in Montgomery County [MD] detect bikes. I just look for the loops in the pavement, and position my bike as if I were in an imaginary car [behind the stop line, in the middle of the lane]. I don't know the deal with the Virginia roads in question, though.

Arlington County Police issued this news release on May 15 (BTWD): [http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Police/news/printarticle.asp?ID=650] .

This crash actually occurred on Friday, May 8 around 9:42 PM, and the bicyclist apparently survived until May 12. The victim was tested for blood alcohol, but these results are not public. The Police contact did not know whether the bicyclist was equipped with a headlight.

Patch/Sue: wouldn't it make sense, though, to at least stop before darting out across Lee Hwy? Just running the light (Patch's #3) without checking for traffic on Lee Hwy sounds like a very poor decision...one that apparently and unfortunately cost this woman her life.

Most of the lights I deal with in VA do detect cyclists or are on timers, but I have a few that don't. And some of those are for the left turn, which means my only option is jumping the red light when it is safe to do so - can't hit the button from the left turn lane.

In NYC, as an aside, there are no sensors - all the lights are on timers. Sometimes I wish that's how it was here.

Froggie, I interpreted patch's #3 to mean "treat the red light like a stop sign". As that is what bicyclists do when we deal with lights that don't detect us. We don't blindly run red lights w/o checking for traffic...

Yes, I meant "run the red light" to mean stop, look, and then go.

Even that probably isn't the smartest decision given the width of Lee Highway and the speed of the cars, although I did do it on occasion.

From the description I don't think we know what she was actually doing.

My daily commute includes crossing Lee Highway at Veitch to go to Courthouse. Cars speeding above the speed limit, combined with the cresting hills (low visibility) makes crossing Lee Highway against any light a very dicey decision.

Granted it was dark at the time of the accident, but I would like to know how fast the driver was going.

There are a lot of facts missing. Maybe she started across a green light but got caught by a red. Maybe she just blew through it. We don't know what the police base the statement "The driver had the right of way in the intersection" on. Was speed a factor? Drinking? Was she using lights? Is it just the driver's word that she ran a red or are there witnesses? etc....

Maybe the driver thought "I did not see her" was not going to work and so said she ran the light. Who knows.

Would be intersting to know whether the Arlington PD requested any blood work to determine potential alcohol or drug use either by the driver of the car or Ms Hrdlicka.

Maybe the driver thought "I did not see her" was not going to work and so said she ran the light. Who knows.

Or perhaps the driver hates cyclists and was cruising around the neighborhood waiting for a cyclist who would run a light and whom s/he could run over with impunity...

Until we know more, it seems a little premature to start spinning this into a story about how "the world is unfair to cyclists." At this point, it is simply a human tragedy.

"Would be intersting to know whether the Arlington PD requested any blood work to determine potential alcohol or drug use either by the driver of the car or Ms Hrdlicka."

This is standard procedure in traffic crash investigations. Evidently, the motorist was clean; not sure about the bicyclist.

Went to this intersection the other night, to see the light timing/red light signal pickup situation. Going north, there are (what appear to be) recently installed signal pickups. What turned out to me more interesting, to me, is that even if you started pedaling the moment the light turned green, it was yellow by the time you'd gone slightly past the halfway mark in crossing Lee Highway. If you don't jump right on it and pedal quickly, you can very well end up with a red while you're still crossing.

Are you talking about entering the intersection when the light turns green, you can't make it across before it turns yellow?

Yes. Sit on the line on N. Cleveland. Start pedaling the instant you get a green light to cross Lee Highway. Unless you treat it as the start of a race, the light will turn yellow as you're crossing the westbound lanes of Lee Highway. I am certain that with many of my friends that I go on casual rides with, they would not be across by the time it turned red.

It's a very very short signal. Only when the ped button is pushed do you get a longer one (and that button is at least six or seven feet in from the curb).

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